‘Yogi Wants To Divide & Rule, But We All Want Bijli, Sadak, Pani’

Zeeshan Alvi, 30, a Block Development Council member in Baramau (Kanpur), says Yogi’s poll campaign whitewashed good work of SP Govt and brainwashed people on communal lines

I can say with confidence that a huge number of Muslims have invested their trust in Samajwadi Party and its leadership in Uttar Pradesh, the state with the largest Muslim population. As per records nearly 79% Muslims voted for SP in the recently concluded Assembly elections. You can also say that a pro-SP vote can be counted as a vote against the divisive politics of the BJP.

It is true that more Muslims were killed in Muzaffarnagar riots under SP rule as compared to the BJP rule, but the constant fear of being lynched or discriminated against was not there. The 80-20 factor did play a major role in these elections. People have been divided along religious lines. Perhaps they will understand the futility of this when they face difficulty in basic issues such as education, employment and other amenities.

Akhilesh Yadav has always given premium to education and employment and finding solutions to problems that plague us now, rather than talking about the past. According to me, the BJP has already begun preparing for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and The Kashmir Files is the first stepping stone. BJP is about righting wrongs of the past while we need a future-oriented leadership.

Having said that, other parties should learn planning and strategy from the BJP, just having good intentions for the public will not work if it is not advertised to the public. Look at BJP, they put so much effort into advertising. Even the stadium that CM Yogi Adityanath took his oath in, was built by the Akhilesh Yadav government. People have short term memory about the development work.

Alvi says BJP has started preparing for the next Lok Sabha elections

Muslims chose the SP even over Owaisi-led AIMIM because we want development and inclusiveness. We want someone who can understand all sections of society and to me Akhilesh Yadav is an able leader. Many people say that the crime rate has come down under Yogi Adityanath. I believe the crime rate was under control during SP’s reign too. Just that they didn’t tom-tom about their work.

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The UP electorate rejected almost every one else apart from BJP and SP. But I would say SP won its seats without playing divisive politics. I feel BJP has brainwashed the janata into believing we are different, but deep down we are all the same: we all want bijli, sadak, pani, education, jobs etc. Let’s hope people will open their eyes by 2024.

I hope local leaders like us will be able to bring about change, be it an independent candidate like me or those belonging to any party. I have actively been involved in politics since my college days and have good understanding of the ground reality.

People will soon tire of issues like the hijab controversy or any such thing which divides them and I hope that in the next Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections, SP will fare even better than this year and the politics of hatred will be defeated. I rue the fact that no MLA from Kanpur has been given a ministerial berth in the Yogi cabinet, despite it being such an important constituency.

As told to Yog Maya Singh

‘Yogi Govt Tactics Can Break Samajwadis’ Bones, Not Our Resolve’

Dilip Kumar Pandey, 27, president of Samajwadi Student Association, Mau, alleges that BJP won Uttar Pradesh by polarising people and manipulating EVMs

I have been associated with the Samajwadi Party for the past 10 years. I had joined the movement when I was just 18. A year after joining the party, in 2012, it formed the government in Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav ji. In those five years, he brought major developments in the state.

But all his development works were undone when the BJP came to power. The state has been set back by at least 25 years in terms of progress. In this election, we tried our best to win the people’s trust. We aimed to bring back the glory to the state.

In our manifesto, we focused on youths, education, jobs and farmers. We wanted to corner the government on these issues in which they failed badly.

And the response we got during election rallies and roadshows was immense. A sea of the crowd that was turning up to listen to Akhilesh ji was the vindication of his popularity and the change people wanted to see.

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We tried our best to win the elections but we failed. Probably, the BJP was able to polarise people on Hindu-Muslim issues. Or they managed to manipulate the EVMs. I don’t see any consolidated reason that made us lose the elections. I also seriously doubt the neutrality of the election commission. The elections are no more fair in this country. The entire country witnessed how EVMs were illegally ferried in lorries and were captured by our workers. The BJP has manipulated the entire system.

But, this failure has not broken the SP workers rather strengthened us. We are Samajwadis. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but they will not be able to crush our determination. We work among the people and for the people. It’s because of our continuous efforts, the party performed very well in the elections.

Our seats have gone up from 47 to 125. In 39 seats, which we lost, the vote margin was less than 2,000. Similarly, there were around 90 seats where the margin was less than 5,000 votes. The vote share of the party also rose from 22% to 32%. If you consider the postal ballots, 51.5 per cent of votes were cast in favour of the SP alliance.

We are now preparing for the general elections in 2024. The BJP has failed in every respect in governance at the Centre also. They can’t control inflation, they don’t have any foreign policy, China has intruded into our territory and this list goes on…

We believe that our leader Akhilesh Yadav ji will have a bigger role to play in the fight against the BJP at a country level.

Akhilesh ji has a vision for this country. When you meet him, you’ll become his fan. We believe that he can pull this country out of the current problems.

As told to Md Tausif Alam